It’s where iconic sports cars and drivers come together to prove not only their capability, but also their endurance. From a few hours to as long as 24, teams of drivers take turns behind the wheel. Created in the spirit of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the world’s oldest sports car endurance race, the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) began with a 10-hour race known as the Petit Le Mans and later grew into a series based in the United States and Canada.
Chevrolet Corvette is a dominant presence in the series each season, challenging the world’s most iconic sports cars in the GT category such as Porsche, Ferrari, and BMW. Since the introduction of Corvette in ALMS, our drivers have won 8 Manufacturers championships and seven 24 Hours of LeMans class wins. But for us, there’s more on the line than winning or losing. We race for the lessons learned on the track and under the extreme circumstances of each course or race. Lessons in engineering, design and technology that equip us to, year after year, build upon an extensive automotive history and create the very best in production vehicles.
The road may change but the racing spirit stays the same. And when it comes to technology transfer between racing and production, there is no better example than the C6. R race car and its streetcar counterpart, the ZR1.
This technology transfer represents the strongest link yet between a production Corvette and the modern Corvette Racing team. The hydroformed aluminum frame, bodywork, and aero package are derived from the Corvette ZR1 supercar. The engine is a based on the Corvette Z06′s 7.0-liter naturally aspirated, all-aluminum small-block, reduced to 5.5 liters displacement in accordance with the GT regulations.To see side-by-side spec comparison click here.
For 2012, several updates were made to the Corvette C6.R race cars as a result of changes in the GT class rules. The new Corvettes are 2 inches wider than the preceding version with corresponding revisions in the bodywork and suspension components to complement the increased track width. Muscular fender flares cover Michelin racing tires have been optimized for the new chassis configuration. The rear wing is mounted 75mm higher than last year, and the front fascia now bristles with dive plane “whiskers” to enhance front downforce in the close-quarter battles that are the hallmark of the GT category.
With 638 horsepower, Corvette ZR1 is the fastest, most powerful car ever produced by Chevrolet. To deliver a top speed of 205-mph, the ZR1 aerodynamics package also utilizes the same race technology – such as the wide carbon fiber front fenders with dual vents, a full-width rear spoiler, and a front splitter. Essentially, from their garage to yours, Corvette engineers apply every component learned from production to racing– down to the soul of the car.
The ZR1 and C6.R are the closest street and racing Corvettes making these kindred spirits equipped to compete on and off the track.